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World Cup fate is in Ireland's hands, says Porterfield

By Ian Callender

Captain William Porterfield is content that qualification for the World Cup finals is still in Ireland's own hands after they eased into the Super Six stage of the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

Following their massive 226-run victory over UAE yesterday, which included a seventh one-day international century from Paul Stirling and career-best ODI bowling figures for Boyd Rankin, they have the best run-rate of the final six and if they win their next three games they will be at next year's finals in England.

"We would have liked to carry through four points, we have to make do with two, but it's in our hands which is what we wanted," said Porterfield. "It'll be nice to have a couple of days off before we face Zimbabwe on Friday. We know that three wins will be enough to make the finals and that, of course, is our target."

The only seeded team to miss out on the Super Six were the Netherlands, who, despite knowing that rain was on the way, collapsed from 142-2 to 167-6 against West Indies yesterday and were left way behind the DLS par-score. UAE take their place in the next stage.

Ireland’s other Super Six games will be against Scotland on Sunday and Afghanistan, who only made it through yesterday because Hong Kong lost their final group game to Nepal.

West Indies, playing for the first time in a qualifying tournament, start the Super Six stage with four points, from their victories over Ireland and UAE, with Zimbabwe and Scotland — whose game finished in a tie yesterday — on three and Ireland on two. UAE and Afghanistan resume on zero having failed to beat either of the other top three teams in their group.

Porterfield feared that rain would return against UAE yesterday and it cost him his 19th century for Ireland.

“It was around the 32nd over (the innings had already been reduced to 44 by two rain breaks) and I thought we had only about four to five overs to bat because the clouds were darkening again,” said the captain.

“So I spoke to Stirlo and told him we better get as many as we can now because we probably won’t get back out again. But the clouds somehow slid round us.”

They hit 22 off the next over but Porterfield’s second attempt to clear the boundary ended in the hands of deep mid-wicket, and he was dismissed for 92.

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